Two teams of MBA students enrolled in the Real Estate & Infrastructure program at York University’s Schulich School of Business have won first and second place in the fifth annual Developers’ Den case competition. A team from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning & Preservation placed third.
The winning team was made up of Schulich MBA students Jamil Damji, Sandra Krecisz, Emily Long and Lina Wong, and received a $5,000 prize. The second place team of Schulich MBA students – Jeremy Hill, Stephen King, Elvis Xu and Edwin Yu – received a $2,000 prize. Columbia University’s team members, Peter Chen, Alvin Kong, Edward Lay and Nicolai Skaugen, received $1,000.
The case involved a land and housing company in Calgary faced with a decision of whether to embark on major land acquisition, while contending with a variety of issues, including its partnership structure, increasing competition, plummeting oil prices, weakening housing demand and a shortage of capital.
The final round presentation and awards reception drew over 100 industry representatives who joined the 14 expert judges to watch top real estate students perform at their best, witness the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and network with the competitors and industry peers.
“The competition this year was extremely close and the judges in both presentation rounds found it challenging to pick one winner,” said Chris Edey, chair of the Developers’ Den Alumni Organizing Committee. “All teams represented themselves and their schools extremely well.”
Andre Kuzmicki, executive director of Schulich’s MBA program in Real Estate & Infrastructure, said the case competition was introduced in 2011 as a way to bring valuable experiential learning in a real-world setting to graduate students from leading schools.
“Developers’ Den is first and foremost an opportunity for students to develop and showcase their skills,” he said. “Regardless of the results, winning and losing is simply part of that experience. We are delighted by the tremendous support the event receives from industry and alumni. The event is getting bigger, better and higher profile every year.”
The final round was judged by executives from Allied Properties REIT, DREAM Unlimited Corp., Mattamy Homes, Scotiabank and TD Bank Group.
The fifth annual case competition, held at Schulich’s Keele campus, was organized by the Schulich Real Property Alumni Association and sponsored by RealNet Canada, the country’s leading real estate information services company, and the Altus Group.
Teams of graduate students from the following schools competed in the March 6 competition: the Schulich School of Business; the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation at Columbia University in New York; the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Washington; the Rotman School of Management; the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University; and the School of Urban & Regional Planning at Queen’s University.